Anglers travel from all across the continent to participate in the fishery affectionately known as “Buoy 10” on the Mighty Columbia River. Named after the channel marker buoy that serves as the western-most point inside the mouth of the river that fishermen are allowed to fish, this 18-mile stretch from Tongue Point through Cape Disappointment boasts the best fishing for Chinook and coho salmon in the lower 48.
While this area is notorious for its ferocious currents, fickle weather, and chaotic boat traffic, kayakers who are properly equipped and possess a good understanding of how the area works can exploit several stealth launches in the area in order to gain access to this world-class fishery.
This video features four of the dozen or so Chinook I hooked and landed from my kayak during a 4-day weekend I spent fishing the Buoy 10 area in August of last year. All fish were caught while trolling herring on the bottom in a depth of between 20 to 40 feet with an in-line flasher between a 10- to 16-ounce lead weight and the herring. The salmon in this area are fresh from the ocean that is not far downstream, which means many are still in aggressive feeding mode and all fight very hard.
This year is shaping up to be another great year with approximately one million fall chinook salmon and 300,000 coho salmon expected to pass through this fishery from August through October.
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